St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 261 - December 22/January 4, 2004

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

December 22/January 4, 2004
Sunday before the Nativity
No. 261

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Services This Past Week

December 28 - Twenty two people attended the Divine Liturgy.
December 29 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 30 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 31 - One person came for Matins and First Hour.
January l - Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 2 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 3 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour to St. George Church. Twelve people came to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont for Divine Liturgy. One communicant in Fairmont. Five people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Divine Liturgy today and each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Monday - Morning at 6:30 AM. Evening at 4:30 PM.
Nativity Eve - Divine Liturgy at 8:30 AM. Blessing of Badnjak at 7:30 PM. Vigil to follow.
Feast of Nativity - Hiearchical Divine Liturgy at 9:45 AM.
Thursday - Synaxis of All-Holy Theotokos at 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Friday - Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

January 4 - Father's Day.
January 6 - Nativity Eve
January 7 - Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
January 8 - Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos
January 9 - St. Stephen, Archdeacon and Protomartyr.
January 14 - Circumcision of our Lord. St. Basil the Great. Julian New Year.
January 18 - Feast of the Holy Cross - Blessing of the Water - Blessing of the Monogahela River.
January 19 - Theophany - Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

May God give strength and comfort to the family of +Mildred Brozik.
Attend as many services this week as possible. Celebrate the Nativity of Christ in Church.
The Divine Liturgy of Christmas Day will be rebroadcast on radio station WMBS, Uniontown following the five o'clock pm news on Wednesday. 590 on the AM dial.
Thank you to all contributing for the flowers to decorate the Church.

A Thought from Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Mateja Matejic

The role and mission of the Church is to proclaim and maintain the road to salvation. In other words, the duty of the Church is to preserve the spiritual standards by maintaining unchangeable Christian principles. One would, therefore, expect the people to adapt their life to those principles, rather than try to make these principles fit their narrow human frame of vision. In the Church, the direction of movement has to be from the human to the divine.
(Orthodoxy: Courage to be Different...Strength to Remain the Same. p.93 )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology

To Consider

The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
The preparation for the Feast.
The content of the services leading to the Feast.
The content of the services of the Feast.
The iconography associated with the Feast of the Nativity.
The Old Testament references to the coming of Christ.
The Gospel description of the birth of Christ.
The ways the world is different due to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

December 30 - Visited parishioner at Monongalia General Hospital, Morgantown.
December 31 - Visited Orthodox Christian at Brownsville Hospital.
January 1 - Conducted service at Funeral Home for +Mildred Brozik.
January 2 - Visited parishioner in personal care home in Carmichaels.
January 3 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont.

From the Desert fathers

He (Abba Elias) also said, 'Men turn their minds either to their sins, or to Jesus, or to men.'

Sunday of the Holy Fathers - 2003
Sunday before the Nativity

Matthews 1:1-25

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abija begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jeshoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth after her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

This genealogy of Jesus Christ given each Sunday before the Nativity sets forth certain fundamental truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. Taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew, the genealogy sets forth the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel reading speaks about the action of the Holy Spirit in the birth of Christ. Joseph was reassurred by the angel. Jesus would save His people from their sins.

Jesus Christ's birth is celebrated around the world wherever Christians live and gather. Careful attention is worth giving to the meaning of the name Immanuel: "God with us."

Orthodox Choirs proclaim in the festal services that "God is with us!" Indeed God is with us. We need only to look carefully around us and we will see the presence of God.

The birth of Christ brings the promise of peace. The birth of Christ brings divine light. The birth of Christ brings eternal hope. The divine took on human flesh. We celebrate Christ's birth in the present.

Our minds are limited in reaching through the centuries to fully understand the birth of Christ. Our minds are tarnished by sin. Thank God, we have the Holy Mysteries to help us in returning to Christ. Thank God we have the Holy Mysteries to unite us with Christ.

The joy of the birth of Jesus Christ lifts the believer to new levels of Christian growth. The joy of the birth of Christ fills the hearts of believers. The love permeating the worship experience of the Church is evidence of the love of Christ upon the Cross.

Our identity as Christians is rooted in the death and resurrection of Christ. Our identity is rooted in Jesus Christ taking on human flesh.

The feast of the Nativity is a different time of the liturgical year than the Feast of Pascha. The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ causes believers to think carefully about the time Jesus Christ spent on earth. The Feast of the Nativity causes believers to think about Jesus Christ growing from a young child to adulthood.

Much time is spent in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Much time is devoted by the Church to this major feast day.

The genealogy given in the present Gospel links together preceeding centuries. The genealogy sets forth specific names, giving identity and credibility to the genealogical account.

Readers of the Holy Scriptures find nourishment in the content. Readers of the Holy Scriptures draw closer to Christ. Readers of the Holy Scriptures value the content.

Centuries have passed since the birth of Christ. The Holy Orthodox Church proclaims the birth of Christ in the present. The Epistle to the Hebrews states: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb.13:8)

As our minds turn to the birth of Christ, let remember those who will be celebrating the feast in most difficult circumstances. Let us remember the suffering people in Kosovo. Let us remember the suffering in Iraq. Let us remember the military personnel separated by great distances from their loved ones.

Here in America in this land of plenty, many children and adults are experiencing great hardship. People we all know are in need of and can benefit from consistent intercessory prayer.

Use time today and each day during the Feast of the Nativity to pray for the sick, the suffering and the imprisoned. Pray for travelers, for those in the military and for those who are homebound, in care homes or hospitals.

Some people are lonely today. Some people are lonely each day. Pray for them that God will touch their hearts and unite them with His Holy Church.

The Nativity of Christ in the flesh gives believers more than enough to think about throughout their lives. It is important we take time now and always to think seriously about the nativity of Christ.

The birth of Christ changed the world forever. Each believer is different because of the birth of Christ. The degree of seriousness we employ in considering the birth of Christ defines us and defines our faith.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.

Sunday before the Nativity.
December 22/January 4, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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